Monday, February 15, 2016

The REP Restroom Door

Walk this morning and, as Monday opened gray, windy and chilly, I dressed for it. 
Wobbled down Linda Avenue into Massalina Drive, round to Hamilton Avenue and back up to the school. For some it’s Cove School, for some Holy Nativity Episcopal School, for a select few whose salvation is assured, it’s Both. 

Sometimes my key comes along, it had today, but the main front door was unlocked. Folks working inside. One classroom is a traditional stop and leave a love note on the — well, okay, whiteboard. 

Out the north end door that 75 years ago opened to our playground. That was the door we exited both for recess and at day’s end. My first specific memory of that door, which opened to bare ground and under oak trees, is fall 1941, going out and looking for my mother’s car. It wasn’t there. I stood and looked. From a car parked about where ours always had been I heard my sister call “Bubba!!” There they were in a brand new 1942 Chevrolet. One of the last two new Chevys to arrive in Panama City until after World War 2. Mom and my mother in the front seat, Gina and Walt in the back seat. First thing I noticed was seats were striped in a pattern and color that reminded me of caramel candy. That memory has never left! 

Walking toward the southernmost back gate, we stopped for a photo of the back of the school building. That end was not there in September 1941 when I started school, it was added during WW2, 


and I remember that the school was crowded by then, wartime and military families. For a while, probably less than a school year, we went to school half-days morning or afternoon and trading off every two or three weeks, so available space would meet the need. All that has been hashed at least once in this blog. Not being a lover of school, I loved the half-days. That may also have been the era when long tables ran down the center of the hallway, for us to get under during air raid drills. So, what? 1942, 3, 4, 5? 

A picture of Robert standing proudly beside his own special personal back door entrance into the school building.
 Hide behind an oak tree to make sure he wasn't being seen slipping in late, grab the porch rail and swing under, through the outside door into the boys restroom, out the hall door, across the hall, into the classroom to his seat right by the door, nobody the wiser. I don't know how he got away with it. I don't know whether Robert ever got sent to the office for being late; but I did ONCE. In 6th grade Mrs. Bowen finally got tired of my arriving three to five minutes late every single morning without fail, and sent me to the office to see the principal, Mrs. Mattie Lou Bridges. Ended once and for all my perfect record of never being on time.

One of these days I'm going to mount a plaque on the outside of the building beside the boys bathroom door dedicating it to Robert Everett Padgett, Cove School 1942-1949. 

Out the back gate to the trucks parked on Linda Avenue and home for first a crash then breakfast.

Tuesday morning Bible Seminar begins tomorrow, Lent Term, goes through May. We gather in Mary Stuart Poole Library between 9:30 and ten o’clock. Sit down at ten, open with prayer at 10:05, and go like hell until 11:15. Well, it’s the Bible and we’ve invoked the Lord’s presence, so we actually go like heck. Gospel according to Luke and the Revelation to/of John.


Thos+ 

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